So, you’ve made it through Christmas. You’ve probably braved a month of mad shopping, manic preparations, food requirements for friends and families, cooking a huge dinner and trying to convince the kids that the expensive toys they received are far more interesting than the boxes they came in… Yes, it’s exhausting and now you deserve a break. Cue the (nearly) best time of the year. That time “between the years”. The week between Christmas and New Year when time seems to stand still, when we’re all happily eating leftovers and don’t quite know what to do with ourselves.

Here’s the good part: This is the time of the year when we’re actually allowed to be unashamedly lazy, spend the whole day in our pyjamas and when it’s perfectly acceptable to watch TV at 11am. So, rather than doing something silly and stressful like hitting the sales, here’s my little list of things that will make that week relaxing and fun.

Light up those fairy lights and candles and make it as cosy as possible. This is not a time to feel low because Christmas is over, but a time to relax after the stress.

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Create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for yourself. Yes, just for yourself. Put on the woolly socks and wrap up in that blanket. Take some time to just be. Now is a good time to read that book you still haven’t managed to finish.

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Since it’s most probably cold and grey outside, pampering yourself is also a great idea and a long bubble bath by candlelight is one of the best ways to warm up and relax.

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Stock up on hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is your best friend at this time of year, apart from your actual best friend, that is. It’s sweet, comforting, warming and if you add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of Cointreau or Amaretto (depending on whether you prefer orange or almond), you’ll have the perfect drink for a cold evening.

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If, on the other hand, you actually do have your best friends around, then this is the perfect time to relax with them. The whole pressure of perfect pre-Christmas parties, dressing up in glitz and glitter and having fun is now over. It’s a great time to enjoy the sort of evening with them where you just serve up some cheese and baguette with some red wine, put some music on, chat and enjoy the company. No need for high heels or tight cocktail dresses here. What a relief…

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Go for a walk. Wrap up warm and enjoy the fresh air. It’s not about burning calories amassed over Christmas (ok, that’s an added bonus), it’s just about clearing your head of stress and having some quiet time surrounded by nature.

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And when you get back home with a frozen red nose, warm yourself up with a hearty soup or some warm cheese scones.

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Both will satisfy any cravings for comfort food without being too time consuming to make.

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And finally, if you really can’t relax at all, why not start thinking about New Year’s Eve, sort our your perfumes and jewellery, and make plans for the upcoming year.

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After all, that’s one of the things that some time off can give us: time to make plans.

 

What will you be doing to relax on your winter break?

 

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By Carole Poirot on 24.12.13

Guest Contributor

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